Cure for the time-change blues

Well, we messed with the time continuum again this past weekend, falling back and retrieving one hour.

I’m never good during these moments of transition. Even though we’ve “gained” these minutes back — the time we somehow “lost” in the spring — it’s hard for me to find my equilibrium.

In the past, I spend the day after springing-forward or falling-back trying to restore order to chaos again. I have tried cleaning everything in sight or cooking some multi-step-recipe-with-weird-ingredients dinner. And after an hour or so, I give up, eat my way through the kids’ Halloween candy, and wonder why losing light at 5:00 is so heart-wrenching.

This year, I think I found the cure for the time-change blues.

It starts with the idea that, knowing our brains are having to acclimate to the change,Β we all must be a little kinder to each other, a little more compassionate to any grumps along the way. Of course the same daily little irritants are going to crop up — the kids are going to bicker, no one will ever learn to wipe down the sticky counters after making a sandwich, and I’ll once again remember too late that I’ve left a washer full of wet, twisted clothes overnight. But after a time-change (even the “good” one where we gain the precious hour), these can seem intentional attacks on my sanity.

At this point it’s good to take a step back, breathe deeply and remember: Soggy laundry that never made it to the dryer isn’t personal. It’s just laundry.

I’ve also realized that planning Big Things now is a mistake — that my idea to renovate the entire top floor of our house or to invest in a vacation timeshare might be slightly misguided and definitely regretted later.

And this year, I decided to do something completely different, something to shake up the usual Sunday-errand-running schedule. This might be the best remedy for the time-change blues:


That’s right — tickets to see Miss Saigon. If a big Broadway-production is playing somewhere near you, I highly recommend it for its cathartic properties. It’s hard to feel depressed about the onset of winter after bawling your eyes out watching a play about a young mother who survived the fall of Saigon give up her son. With a soaring musical score, no less.

How did you deal with the time change?


About thethingaboutjoan

Mom of three who knits a little, bakes a lot, crafts a bit and blogs about it all.
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14 Responses to Cure for the time-change blues

  1. Miriam says:

    I don’t actually mind the time changing much, since we homeschool and can just adjust our sleep/wake schedule. And I enjoy the early dark, at least right now! But your thoughts are good ones for any time of the year- learning to be a little kinder and gentler, not sweating the small stuff πŸ™‚

    • I wish I could ease into these time shifts — you know, like everyone takes a week off everything to acclimate. I could be far kinder and gentler then… πŸ™‚

      And you’re right — empathy is always welcome, any time of the year. And I totally should not be making Big Decisions on the fly. Ever. πŸ™‚

  2. sew vintage emporium says:

    I know! I also find it hard to adjust. The afternoons seem so dark and it just seems later than it actually is every time I check the clock I feel confused!

    • That’s exactly how I feel. I hate not being able to guesstimate the time by the amount of light/sun’s place in the sky. And I can never figure out how to set the clock in my van — the kids have to take pity on me and do it.

  3. mtetar says:

    It doesn’t bother me it is a yearly thing, and I always set my clocks either forward or backwards the Saturday night before time changes. Fall forward one hour and Spring backwards one hour. Blessings, Mtetar

  4. Our clocks went back just over a week ago in the UK and the time change throws me out of kilter every time. It takes a few days to settle down again so I really appreciated your post. I think the sentiment is a very good one to bear in mind all year but one that definitely helps in unsettled periods.

    • That’s the other thing that I have never understood — why we changed our time-shift in the States to a week later than other nations. I mean, if we all have to do this flipping and flopping around with time, couldn’t we all do it together? I’m for changing ours back a week to align with yours.

      I’m still not quite back into the swing of things. I can’t figure out how gaining an hour is making me so tired. I’m assuming that coffee holds the mystical key somehow… πŸ™‚

  5. Musical theater therapy for the time change blues! Love it!

  6. nice way to get through this! πŸ™‚

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